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Stu Presents: His Favorite Movies!

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2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, '68)



After a few minutes of orchestral strings making an aimless, dissonant racket, the first thunderous notes of "Thus Spake Zarathrustra" begin to play, as the sight of a newborn Sun comes cresting over the Earth, and, as the musical piece booms towards its climax, a title card announces the name of the film we're about to have the pleasure of watching: Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. This opening shot will prove to be a perfect microcosm of the movie itself; both incredibly intimidating, as well full of endless, epic promise, it's a film that is both immediately comprehensible on a gut level, while also cryptic enough with its deeper meanings that it's been endlessly scrutinized and over-analyzed for over half a century now, with still no end of its grip on film scholarship in sight, to the point that I just wrote the entire opening paragraph of this review about just the first few minutes alone without you realizing it, didn't I?

All jokes aside, while it's not easy (and rather pointless) to try to accurately describ the plot of 2001 in mere words, I'll make an attempt anyway; beginning at the "Dawn Of Man" with a starving tribe of apes, who learn how to use tools after the unexplained appearance of a foreboding stone monolith in their midst, the film suddenly jumps millions of years into the future, with the just-as-sudden reappearance of the massive, iPhone-shaped square on the Moon, a discovery that leads the men who discovered it (and mankind in turn) on the most epic of cinematic journeys, one that spans the stars, and ultimately, the very limits of human evolution itself. It's a grand story that manages to both be incredibly cryptic with its story and imagery, as well as make perfect sense upon deeper analysis, with Kubrick's screenplay collaborator, Sci-Fic icon Arthur C. Clarke, helping to ensure that the story always knows exactly where it's going and what it's saying, a striking clarity that I wish certain other works in the genre would be able to attain (I'm looking at you, Prometheus...)

But like I said, describing the story of 2001 is unnecessary anyway, as the real pleasure of the film is the unparalleled sensory experience it offers on the whole, with Kubrick adhering to a strict "show, don't tell" style of visual storytelling, as well as to a hard scientific accuracy in the film's portrayal of interstellar travel, including a complete lack of sound in space. It's an aspect that makes these scenes perfect for emphasizing the classical music soundtrack, which fits so well, it's hard to believe that it wasn't written specifically for the film itself, since it so enhances the elegant, slow-motion "dances" of the impossibly detailed space stations and ships on display here, all lovingly crafted by Kubrick's design team, and even over half a century later, the practical models and effects of 2001 still look more realistic than most works of Science Fiction that are being produced today.

Of course, some viewers have found the slow, extended sequences of space travel in the film to be fairly dull and uneventful, but I've always appreciated the way that these minutes-long intermissions allow us to just relax and soak in the interminglings of technology with the endless beauty of space, as the film makes us wait on its own, millennias-long timeline, which nonetheless still proves to be oddly propulsive in its own, one-of-a-kind way. It's a movie that's completely unafraid to take all the time it needs to craft the right mood, lulling us into the proper state of hypnotic viewing, even if you haven't tried enhancing your experience by certain "substances" as you watch, as a number of contemporary hippies are reported to have done during the film's original release (hey, there's a good reason why one of the film's taglines is "The ultimate trip", after all).

At any rate, another aspect that 2001 excels at is the way that it presents a truly full-bodied, three-dimensonal vision of the future, not content to offer another shiny but vague conceptualization, but one that really tries making informed, educated speculations about what life in the then-future year of 2001 would be like, with the way its portrayal of the commercialization of space travel turns it into being just another everyday errand, with such "mundane" details as the sight of a flight attendent making a disorienting, zero-G walk upside down simply to deliver lunch to a pair of eagerly waiting shuttle pilots.

This subtly, effortlessly ties into 2001's recurring message that, despite all the wondrous sights and technologies that the future of the film has to offer us as viewers, to the characters in the actual film, an experience like flying to a massive space station rotating in the heavens has become so everyday, it can be napped through, as humanity has become dull and jaded that none of the humans in the film exhibit so much as a hint of having an personality, with the most memorable character being the glowing red dot that represents the "HAL", the malfunctioning supercomputer, with the most emotional scene being when he helplessly begs (in his robotic monotone) to not have his "mind" erased.

Finally, 2001 excels in its absolute refusal to provide any unnecessary, audience-coddling answers to the universe shattering questions that it raises, as, even as advanced as mankind is in the film, it still shows there are certain things that will always be beyond our comprehension as human beings (at least, that is, until we evolve into something greater than that). It's perplexing storytelling that nonetheless knows exactly what to let the audience know (and not know), showcasing the great fear we would experience upon making first contact with an alien intelligence, with the eerie, harrowing choirs moaning in the background that accompany almost every sighting of the Monolith, while also ultimately proving to be optimistic about the endless possibilities of such contact. In that way, 2001 still towers over cinema like the Monolith itself over humanity, proving to be the finest example of Kubrick's legendary perfectionism, and watching it for the first time is a lot like experiencing what Dave does when he goes "beyond the infinite" towards the end; you have no idea what exactly what you're experiencing, but you also know that you'll never, ever be the same again.

Favorite Moment:




Victim of The Night
Although speaking of Batman, I probably wouldn't mind seeing a feature-length version of this, to be honest with you:


My god, every moment of that is better than actual The Batman.



I really wanted to know what the #1 movie was.
I'm not posting these in order of preference, just in reverse order of popularity according to Letterboxd, you know?



Wall-E (Stanton, '08)



Out there is our home.

About fourty years after starting out as nothing more than a special effects division of Lucasfilm, Pixar Studios has made an unparalleled impact on the modern history of animated film; starting with 1995's Toy Story, the first feature-length computer-animated film ever, Pixar has revolutionized the animation industry with what has arguably become the second "Disney Renaissance", continually putting out innovative, imaginative new works that (almost) always walk that ever-so-fine line between entertaining younger audiences, while still managing to engage older ones, often capturing the hearts of both alike in the process. However, to me, no single film in their oh-so-rich body of work stands out more than 2008's Wall-E, which is a one-of-a-kind mixture of sumptuously-animated visual storytelling, bold, imaginatively designed science-fiction concepts, and an overall overwhelming sense of wonder and emotion to ensure that, not only is it one of my favorite animated films, it's also just one my favorite FILMS, period.

It tells the story of a lone robot named Wall-E (short for "Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class"), a cute, curious fellow who also happens to be the last functioning unit in his series, and who, in the not-too-distant future, has been left behind by a bound-for-the-stars mankind in order to clean up a planet Earth that has become so polluted so as to no longer be firt for habitation, in the hopes of eventually making the world fit to live on again, one day... someday. Day in and day out, WALL-E continues forward with his Sisyphean task of trying to clean up the entire planet on his own, gathering every little bit of garbage he comes across and compacting it (while saving whatever little knickknacks he finds interesting), and then stacking up the resulting cubes of trash until they tower over the desolate landscape, as literal skyscrapers of garbage. It's a solitary life, his only companions being the non-operational Wall-Es he runs across here and there (which he then scavenges for spare parts), an oddly loyal, plucky cockroach with an enduring love of Twinkies, and his passion for Hello, Dolly!, the music of which he plays as he rocks himself to sleep each and every night, all alone in the world.

However, all of that changes when another, far more advanced robot named Eve ("Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator") literally drops out of the sky one day, on a search for a sign that Earth has become habitable again, a task that brings her across the path of Wall-E. From there, an unlikely but unbreakable romance will grow between the two of them, as as they set out on a journey that will take them to the farthest stars and beyond, and end up fundamentally determining the fate of all mankind itself. So that's the basic set-up of the story, but the real appeal of Wall-E lies in its incredible storytelling, as director Andrew Stanton utilizes an almost completely dialogue-free, visually-based style here, one that's not only unusual for a G-rated Disney release, but for any kind of film period, as it's more akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey than anything else, as an incredibly ambitious style for an equally ambitious film.

The depth of emotion that Stanton squeezes out here through the magnificent imagery is simply breathtaking, going from a completely desolate Earth to an impeccably sleek, futuristic spaceship and back again, with enough scope and detail to outmatch a thousand other movies if one were to compare. He respects his young Pixar audience (and us older viewers as well) to have the patience to digest the film as it plays out in relative silence, resulting in incredibly rich tableaus of post-apocalyptic/sci-fi visuals to dazzle our eyes, and engage our minds. The scientific concepts presented in Wall-E are incredibly well-developed, especially for a so-called "children's film", showcasing a garbage-brown, deserted Earth that we've polluted so much that it's no longer habitable by humans, an entire ship-bound society of people that are so sedentary, they've started to lose their ability to even move around on their own (which helps the film squeeze in some welcome commentary on corporate monopolies, obesity, and technology addiction), and of course, the central romance that blossoms between two "mere" robots.

Wall-E & Eve learn to love throughout the various hardships, and genuine, patient relationship-building they experience throughout the film, as the romance that develops between them has far more emotion in it than most live-action human couples have on screen, and the incredibly expressive 'bots of Wall-E display genuine loneliness, fear, and of course, love, and do it just as well as any real human actors ever had, all while barely saying anything more than each other's names. It's one of my favorite on-screen pairings in film history, animated or not, and the way that Wall-E the robot follows Eve to the ends of the universe, so too would I follow Wall-E, the film to the ends of this Earth; it's just that good.

Favorite Moment:




ᗢWanda Maximoff-Scarlet WitchᗢElizabeth Olesnᗢ
Wall-E (Stanton, '08)



Out there is our home.

About fourty years after starting out as nothing more than a special effects division of Lucasfilm, Pixar Studios has made an unparalleled impact on the modern history of animated film; starting with 1995's Toy Story, the first feature-length computer-animated film ever, Pixar has revolutionized the animation industry with what has arguably become the second "Disney Renaissance", continually putting out innovative, imaginative new works that (almost) always walk that ever-so-fine line between entertaining younger audiences, while still managing to engage older ones, often capturing the hearts of both alike in the process. However, to me, no single film in their oh-so-rich body of work stands out more than 2008's Wall-E, which is a one-of-a-kind mixture of sumptuously-animated visual storytelling, bold, imaginatively designed science-fiction concepts, and an overall overwhelming sense of wonder and emotion to ensure that, not only is it one of my favorite animated films, it's also just one my favorite FILMS, period.

It tells the story of a lone robot named Wall-E (short for "Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class"), a cute, curious fellow who also happens to be the last functioning unit in his series, and who, in the not-too-distant future, has been left behind by a bound-for-the-stars mankind in order to clean up a planet Earth that has become so polluted so as to no longer be firt for habitation, in the hopes of eventually making the world fit to live on again, one day... someday. Day in and day out, WALL-E continues forward with his Sisyphean task of trying to clean up the entire planet on his own, gathering every little bit of garbage he comes across and compacting it (while saving whatever little knickknacks he finds interesting), and then stacking up the resulting cubes of trash until they tower over the desolate landscape, as literal skyscrapers of garbage. It's a solitary life, his only companions being the non-operational Wall-Es he runs across here and there (which he then scavenges for spare parts), an oddly loyal, plucky cockroach with an enduring love of Twinkies, and his passion for Hello, Dolly!, the music of which he plays as he rocks himself to sleep each and every night, all alone in the world.

However, all of that changes when another, far more advanced robot named Eve ("Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator") literally drops out of the sky one day, on a search for a sign that Earth has become habitable again, a task that brings her across the path of Wall-E. From there, an unlikely but unbreakable romance will grow between the two of them, as as they set out on a journey that will take them to the farthest stars and beyond, and end up fundamentally determining the fate of all mankind itself. So that's the basic set-up of the story, but the real appeal of Wall-E lies in its incredible storytelling, as director Andrew Stanton utilizes an almost completely dialogue-free, visually-based style here, one that's not only unusual for a G-rated Disney release, but for any kind of film period, as it's more akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey than anything else, as an incredibly ambitious style for an equally ambitious film.

The depth of emotion that Stanton squeezes out here through the magnificent imagery is simply breathtaking, going from a completely desolate Earth to an impeccably sleek, futuristic spaceship and back again, with enough scope and detail to outmatch a thousand other movies if one were to compare. He respects his young Pixar audience (and us older viewers as well) to have the patience to digest the film as it plays out in relative silence, resulting in incredibly rich tableaus of post-apocalyptic/sci-fi visuals to dazzle our eyes, and engage our minds. The scientific concepts presented in Wall-E are incredibly well-developed, especially for a so-called "children's film", showcasing a garbage-brown, deserted Earth that we've polluted so much that it's no longer habitable by humans, an entire ship-bound society of people that are so sedentary, they've started to lose their ability to even move around on their own (which helps the film squeeze in some welcome commentary on corporate monopolies, obesity, and technology addiction), and of course, the central romance that blossoms between two "mere" robots.

Wall-E & Eve learn to love throughout the various hardships, and genuine, patient relationship-building they experience throughout the film, as the romance that develops between them has far more emotion in it than most live-action human couples have on screen, and the incredibly expressive 'bots of Wall-E display genuine loneliness, fear, and of course, love, and do it just as well as any real human actors ever had, all while barely saying anything more than each other's names. It's one of my favorite on-screen pairings in film history, animated or not, and the way that Wall-E the robot follows Eve to the ends of the universe, so too would I follow Wall-E, the film to the ends of this Earth; it's just that good.

Favorite Moment:

awhhh loved this movie and love walle his like the cutest thing ever!


__________________
https://youtu.be/rr_x-rMYpkI Wanda Maximoff-Scarlet Witch
https://youtu.be/78oLEoy5Npo Natasha Romanoff-Black Widow
https://youtu.be/0LXhnd-CMrQ Agatha Harkness
https://youtu.be/4E880wNeB2g Yelena Belova

https://youtu.be/V8BhIsWTGUI Clint Barton-Hawkeye
https://youtu.be/Zy66zOMkGsM Loki Lufeyson



Wall-E (Stanton, '08)



Out there is our home.

About fourty years after starting out as nothing more than a special effects division of Lucasfilm, Pixar Studios has made an unparalleled impact on the modern history of animated film; starting with 1995's Toy Story, the first feature-length computer-animated film ever, Pixar has revolutionized the animation industry with what has arguably become the second "Disney Renaissance", continually putting out innovative, imaginative new works that (almost) always walk that ever-so-fine line between entertaining younger audiences, while still managing to engage older ones, often capturing the hearts of both alike in the process. However, to me, no single film in their oh-so-rich body of work stands out more than 2008's Wall-E, which is a one-of-a-kind mixture of sumptuously-animated visual storytelling, bold, imaginatively designed science-fiction concepts, and an overall overwhelming sense of wonder and emotion to ensure that, not only is it one of my favorite animated films, it's also just one my favorite FILMS, period.

It tells the story of a lone robot named Wall-E (short for "Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class"), a cute, curious fellow who also happens to be the last functioning unit in his series, and who, in the not-too-distant future, has been left behind by a bound-for-the-stars mankind in order to clean up a planet Earth that has become so polluted so as to no longer be firt for habitation, in the hopes of eventually making the world fit to live on again, one day... someday. Day in and day out, WALL-E continues forward with his Sisyphean task of trying to clean up the entire planet on his own, gathering every little bit of garbage he comes across and compacting it (while saving whatever little knickknacks he finds interesting), and then stacking up the resulting cubes of trash until they tower over the desolate landscape, as literal skyscrapers of garbage. It's a solitary life, his only companions being the non-operational Wall-Es he runs across here and there (which he then scavenges for spare parts), an oddly loyal, plucky cockroach with an enduring love of Twinkies, and his passion for Hello, Dolly!, the music of which he plays as he rocks himself to sleep each and every night, all alone in the world.

However, all of that changes when another, far more advanced robot named Eve ("Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator") literally drops out of the sky one day, on a search for a sign that Earth has become habitable again, a task that brings her across the path of Wall-E. From there, an unlikely but unbreakable romance will grow between the two of them, as as they set out on a journey that will take them to the farthest stars and beyond, and end up fundamentally determining the fate of all mankind itself. So that's the basic set-up of the story, but the real appeal of Wall-E lies in its incredible storytelling, as director Andrew Stanton utilizes an almost completely dialogue-free, visually-based style here, one that's not only unusual for a G-rated Disney release, but for any kind of film period, as it's more akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey than anything else, as an incredibly ambitious style for an equally ambitious film.

The depth of emotion that Stanton squeezes out here through the magnificent imagery is simply breathtaking, going from a completely desolate Earth to an impeccably sleek, futuristic spaceship and back again, with enough scope and detail to outmatch a thousand other movies if one were to compare. He respects his young Pixar audience (and us older viewers as well) to have the patience to digest the film as it plays out in relative silence, resulting in incredibly rich tableaus of post-apocalyptic/sci-fi visuals to dazzle our eyes, and engage our minds. The scientific concepts presented in Wall-E are incredibly well-developed, especially for a so-called "children's film", showcasing a garbage-brown, deserted Earth that we've polluted so much that it's no longer habitable by humans, an entire ship-bound society of people that are so sedentary, they've started to lose their ability to even move around on their own (which helps the film squeeze in some welcome commentary on corporate monopolies, obesity, and technology addiction), and of course, the central romance that blossoms between two "mere" robots.

Wall-E & Eve learn to love throughout the various hardships, and genuine, patient relationship-building they experience throughout the film, as the romance that develops between them has far more emotion in it than most live-action human couples have on screen, and the incredibly expressive 'bots of Wall-E display genuine loneliness, fear, and of course, love, and do it just as well as any real human actors ever had, all while barely saying anything more than each other's names. It's one of my favorite on-screen pairings in film history, animated or not, and the way that Wall-E the robot follows Eve to the ends of the universe, so too would I follow Wall-E, the film to the ends of this Earth; it's just that good.

Favorite Moment:


Wall-E is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's at or near the top of several of my MoFo top movie lists, including Sci-Fi movies, Animated movies, 2000s movies, and All-Time movies.

This was one of my recent purchases:

__________________
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If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.
OPEN FLOOR.



ᗢWanda Maximoff-Scarlet WitchᗢElizabeth Olesnᗢ
Wall-E is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's at or near the top of several of my MoFo top movie lists, including Sci-Fi movies, Animated movies, 2000s movies, and All-Time movies.

This was one of my recent purchases:

omg loved these :O



Wall-E is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's at or near the top of several of my MoFo top movie lists, including Sci-Fi movies, Animated movies, 2000s movies, and All-Time movies.

This was one of my recent purchases:

Aw, that's cute.



Memento (Nolan, 2000)



Now... where was I?

A hand holds up a fresh Polaroid picture, one that displays the image of a bloody corpse, before impatiently shaking it, as the image begins to... undevelop before our very eyes, gradually fading back into a pale, white nothing, before quickly sliding back inside the camera as though it never existed. It's quite the striking opening shot, one that deftly establishes the central reversed-time premise of Christopher Nolan's breakthrough film Memento, which, instead of being just some cheap cinematic gimmick, becomes so much more than that, through the various ways that Nolan experiments with and develops this structure over the course of the film, making it transcend to its full potential in order to create what is easily one of the most mind-blowing movies I've seen in my life.

It tells the story of Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator whose everyday existence is shattered (quite literally) by a botched home invasion, an incident that causes the death of his wife, and leaves Leonard himself with a form of "retrograde amnesia", one that leaves the entirety of his memory intact up until that night, but renders him unable to make any new memories since then. This leads to the film's unique, reverse chronological structure, as the story "begins" at the end, and goes forward in roughly five minute segments at a time, before jumping back to show us what happened beforehand, in a brilliant concept that Nolan utilizies to its maximum potential here, as the hunted becomes the hunter (and back again), former allies are gradually revealed in their treachery, and absolutely nothing is as what it seems.

Of course, I have to acknowledge that the film's plot is quite convoluted at times, and the way it unfolds in reverse (alongside the parallel scenes that proceed in normal order; jeez, even just talking about it is confusing) make it harder to follow anyway, and unless you're some kind of brilliant film savant, it will be impossible for you to absorb every little detail & nuance upon first watch, as the film practically demands for you to see it at least twice, preferably right after you've watched it the first time. However, rather than being annoyed at the Byzantine storytelling of Memento, I appreciate the confusion inherent in experiencing it, as this feeling is necessary for us to be able to sympathize with Guy Pearce's Lenny, the ultimate unreliable narrator, as a man caught in a Sisyphean nightmare of an existence, albeit one that we come to learn is partly of his own making, as his quest for revenge against the man who killed his wife (a revenge he won't even be able to remember) drags ever on, and he chooses to rewrite the past in order to retain a scrap of his own emotional sanity.

And besides its various narrative contortions, another thing I really enjoy about Memento is just how emotional it really is; at least half of its appeal comes from the extensive efforts Nolan takes to make us empathize with Lenny, as we watch him struggle to make meaning out of his situation, burn the last batch of his late wife's belongings, and reminisce often about her lingering memory, showing himself to be a man haunted & trapped by the spectors of the past (represented literally by the ever-growing number of "clues" he obsessively tattoos onto his body). It's the way these calm, beautiful, melancholic moments alternate with the frantic, confused portions of Memento that round it out to be a truly full package of cinema, and help it transcend its potentially gimmick-y nature to become something much, much more; whatever you do, don't forget to remember this one.



That's Nolan's best film. I sometimes feel like the plot mechanics in his films can be secondary to their emotional cores (Inception and Interstellar), but I think the plot mechanics in this film are all at the heart of Leonard's suffering, so it works phenomenally.



That's Nolan's best film. I sometimes feel like the plot mechanics in his films can be secondary to their emotional cores (Inception and Interstellar), but I think the plot mechanics in this film are all at the heart of Leonard's suffering, so it works phenomenally.
Oh yeah; the way the movie gradually unwraps both its plot, and Leonard as a human being in equal measure, is nothing short of brilliant for me.